Mandy Perkins

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An Adventurer's Life

Tropic Tide follows the extraordinary life and interesting times of Bruce "VB" Perkins, from the high life of pre-war Singapore to the disastrous battle for the island, from the horrific POW years on the Burma-Siam Railway to the rescue effort at wars end when VB went back into the jungle in search of thousands of Malayan labourers lost and dying in Siam. It is a story of the Communist Emergency in Malaya in the fifties and how the communists were eventually defeated. It is the story of expeditions into remote sakai tribal areas deep in the jungles, of terrorist guerillas, Special Branch plots and of Arnhem Land, of traditional aborigines, bush characters and remote cattle stations in the Northern Territory. It is the story of losing everything twice and beginning again, of following a vision to establish a shipping company against all odds, and of realising a dream of opening a sea lane between north Australia and Singapore.

Tropic Tide is the story of a man who was unconventional and lived life to the absolute maximum.

Sir Edward "Weary" Dunlop:
"On the surface he was swashbuckling exuberance, a man with whom one could spend hours in sparkling conversation and drink deep. He emerged as a man of major enterprise and imagination.

Bruce Perkins was one of the truly memorable people that I have encountered in a long life. His biography should prove a fascinating account of a life full of rich, colourful adventure. He seemed to me the personification of Kipling's 'If'."

Chief Minister Marshall Perron (Hansard):
"Bruce Perkins fought many battles... but he was not a battler in the traditional sense. He was an overcomer and an achiever of high order, and a gentleman until the day he died..."



…a daughter's biography of a swashbuckling, unconventional father, chattily written, unaffected, breezily intimate and with a cast of characters and backdrops more exotic than the norm…
Murray Waldren, Weekend Australian

…a touch of the Somerset Maughams about the opening chapters…written with objective affection about her father, a real old school adventurer…legend of the lost empire.
Yvonne Preston, Canberra Times

A good biography should include the happenings which affected and shaped the life of its subject. Mandaley Perkins has done this astonishingly well. Her pages on the British mishandling of Singapore's defense in WWII is better than most of the accounts of this debacle that I have read… Excellent in composition…Here is a new talent.
Buzz Kennedy, Townsville Bulletin

Richly descriptive, you can almost smell the spices and taste the whisky and sodas of Malaya… An honest book, written with great candor and skill.
Gill Goodman, The Geelong Advertiser

Tropic Tide is one of those rare biographies about an extraordinary life which also happens to be a great yarn… The pages are filled with experiences of war, espionage, tragedy and humour…
Morning Bulletin, QLD

An extraordinary life… an uplifting book loaded with anecdotes and description.
Alison Farmer, Sunday Times, WA

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